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The Restroom Access Act

Courageous Young Woman Advocates For Restroom Access For People With IBD

By

Updated July 09, 2014

Allyson Bain

Allyson Bain is the woman who spearheaded efforts to pass the first Restroom Access Act in her home state of Illinois.

Photo © Amber J Tresca

Definition:

The Restroom Access Act is a law passed in several states that requires retail establishments that do not have public restrooms to provide access to employee-only restrooms to patrons in need. This can include people who have inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), pregnant women, and those who have other chronic conditions.

The Restroom Access Act has been passed in a total of 13 states - Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin and Washington. The act has been passed in these states largely as result of grassroots efforts. There is support for a federal version of the act, and several other states have similar laws currently in the works.

The Restroom Access Act is also known as "Ally's Law," so named for the teen who was spurred to action after she experienced an IBD-related accident. Ally was denied access to an employee-only restroom while shopping. Ally was instrumental in getting the first version of the Restroom Access Act passed in Illinois, her home state.

 

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